Missouri gashed on ground, fall to the Bulldogs 49-14

Georgia’s talented running backs and offensive line were too much for Missouri to handle in a blowout loss to the Bulldogs.

Georgia running back Zamir White took the handoff, cut to his left and took off. White bounced to the outside, turned on the afterburners and outran every defender to Faurot Field’s north end zone.

If he felt like it, he could have even flashed the Missouri defense a Tyreek Hill-esque peace sign.

Ball game.

After giving up 566 yards to Arkansas last week, the Missouri defense struggled once again in every facet of its game against Georgia. It couldn’t cover sophomore receiver George Pickens or get off the field on third down, but the most pressing issue was its struggle against Georgia’s potent ground game.

The Bulldogs have one of the most talented running back rooms in the SEC with White, junior James Cook and sophomore Kenny McIntosh. The trio had a field day at Faurot Field, running for 316 yards and four touchdowns against a discombobulated Missouri defense.

“We knew that they had a good offensive line,” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz said. “We knew that they had a good run game. We just weren’t able to stop it.”

Georgia tested Missouri’s run-stopping prowess early and often. Eric Stokes picked Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak off on the second play of the afternoon and the visitors proceeded to run the ball six-consecutive times and into the end zone.

Play after play, the Bulldogs gouged the Tigers on the ground. More often than not, they found the edge and burst to the outside. Every run up the middle resulted in a running back reaching the second level. Even a “short” run went for more than five yards.

“We feel like we needed to try and stop the run,” Drinkwitz said. “We weren’t able to do that unless we put extra people in [the box].”

Rushes of 25, 36, 43 and 47 yards served as backbreakers as the Tigers continued to fall further and further behind the No. 9 Bulldogs. They finished the game with seven rushes that went over 15 yards and never let their foot off the gas.

What makes Georgia’s run game so successful is its offensive line, built on five-star prospects that can knock defenders off the ball in both the run and pass game. They showed that on the field as they opened up sizable hole after sizable hole for the running backs to break through.

“There were some good holes,” Drinkwitz said. “They made us miss a couple of tackles, we didn’t chase [the ball] down the backside. Some of our schemes they had us with cut-off blocks.”

The Bulldogs’ success in the run game allowed quarterback JT Daniels more time in the pocket to throw and he took advantage with 299 yards and three touchdowns.

When a team can run the ball at will, it spells disaster for the opponent. Through its trio of talented running backs and one of the best offensive lines in college football, the Bulldogs certainly did that on Saturday afternoon.

To beat Georgia, a team has to be near-perfect.

An offense has to execute flawlessly. A defense needs to do enough to slow down the Bulldogs run game. And special teams need to come up with a big play or two.

Missouri struggled to do any of that and paid the price as the Bulldogs ran away –– literally –– with the win.

“They just got a good football team,” Drinkwitz said. “We didn’t get it done today.”

Edited by Anna Cowden | acowden@themaneater.com

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